Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Heart Failure Patients Take Part In Stem Cell Research

Monday, June 26, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

This article, from The Pittsburgh Channel news website, features the story of a man suffering from severe heart disease who received injections of stem cells that orignated from his thigh.

The results, 6 weeks after surgery are positive. However, this type of procedure uses stem cells taken from muscle and already has a history of poor outcomes - which stopped trials in certain countries.

Stem cells are withdrawn, cultured and injected into the heart muscle. But, in the past and little known to the scientists and doctors at the time, although the cells looked genuinely like cardiac muscle cells, they lacked one important and necessary factor - the timing of the heartbeat known as "twitch". Skeletal muscle (normal muscle) fibers exhibit "slow twitch" but cardiac muscle fibers have to have "fast twitch" in order to maintain the heart's pumping action.

Therefore, whether or not this form of treatment currently being researched at The Cleveland Clinic proves to be reliable & effective long term depends on the researchers having been able to find a way to reprogram the "twitch" speed.


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